1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Pullets are six months old, is it too late in the season for them to start laying?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jedgell, Oct 12, 2013.

  1. jedgell

    jedgell Out Of The Brooder

    35
    2
    26
    Oct 5, 2013
    Mid Michigan
    I have 6 pullets that I added to my flock this summer, 3 barred rocks, 2 isa browns and one silver wyandotte. They are just turned 24 weeks old and have not started laying yet. Since the days are getting shorter, will they start laying this fall, or wait until spring?

    Usually I have supplemental lighting on my hens, but haven't run the cord out to the coop yet this fall. I plug in for the winter for light and for the heater to keep the water from freezing. It's been so mild I haven't gotten to it yet.

    I love this site. I've been a long time reader, first time posting.

    I should add that I live in mid-Michigan area where we have real winters.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    450
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    32,674
    5,426
    556
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I just started up my timed light, got it coming on just before dawn and will set the timer back every few days.
     
  4. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

    4,210
    451
    328
    Apr 8, 2008
    Ohio
    You should probably see eggs before spring, but it's not a sure thing. It's also possible some will start laying and some won't. My late-season pullets usually start laying, but every once in a while I have a holdout that waits until April.

    The winter weather won't bother the chickens; it's not the cold that's a problem, but the lack of sunlight since chickens are very photosensitive. Use your timed light to give them 14-16 hours of light a day. It might take a few weeks or a month for the extra light to kick them into laying.

    I also heartily endorse the articles that flockwatcher posted. They are great, especially the one about ventilation. So many people want to button up their hen houses for the winter and add heat, because that is what they themselves would want. Sometimes we have to take a step back and remember that chickens are not people and what's best for us is not always best for them.

    Good luck--I think you'll see eggs this winter.
     
  5. Chickens R Us

    Chickens R Us Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have an EE that has yet to lay I can't wait for a blue or green egg. I will be supplementing light as soon as my DH gets around to putting the wiring in my new coop.
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    450
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Thanks for this, though I take no credit, of course. She is one of the people I learned a huge amount from, when I first started coming here. Good example of the tremendous knowledge and experience available on BYC.
     
  7. jedgell

    jedgell Out Of The Brooder

    35
    2
    26
    Oct 5, 2013
    Mid Michigan
    Thanks for the input. I am going to run the cord to the coop today and get my timer going again. Hopefully the youngsters will decide to start and lay before spring.
     
  8. aggiemae

    aggiemae Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,349
    81
    168
    Mar 18, 2012
    Salem Oregon
    I have used supplemental lighting in the past but found that they didn't really work on pullets that hadn't started laying before the days grew shorter. The bottom line is that I over it'd life spam you will get the same number of eggs from a hen no matter what age they start laying.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2013
  9. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

    4,210
    451
    328
    Apr 8, 2008
    Ohio
    This depends a great deal on her lifespan--don't want to get into a debate here (and will not), but our pullets are soup at the end of their second or third year, depending on the breed. Therefore, it makes a great deal of sense for us to use supplemental lighting and get as many eggs as we can in those couple of years. We do keep good broody hens for their natural lives, and they don't seem to suffer any ill effects for having had supplementary lighting.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    32,674
    5,426
    556
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    This^^^


    Depends on if you have chickens to provide food in an efficient way...... or if you have pets with fair weather benefits.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by